Sober Dave -What Have You Become?
Dave (@soberdave) struggled with his drinking, but after being challenged by a friend he gave it up and hasn't looked back since! This is his story.One year ago, December 2018, I was in a very different place. My marriage was in a really bad way, my weight had spiralled out of control and my blood pressure was dangerously high. I knew I had to do something. I’d tried moderating and it lasted two days. Hiding alcohol from my wife had somehow become part of the norm and I had virtually lost all conscience about doing so.
I glanced at a reflection in the mirror and spoke out loud, “Who are you, what have you become?”
You see, I had completely lost all respect for myself. I knew I was better than this, yet alcohol took over my thoughts on a daily basis. I began 2019 the same as ever: drinking like a fish and very much still in denial about how serious my drinking was, but equally being aware that it had to end.
I was driving to work on 7 January 2019 with a hangover from hell when I received a text message. It was from a very close friend of mine. It read: ’Do you want to give up alcohol for three months with me, to see where you are with your health and your marriage?’
I chucked the phone on the empty seat next to me and laughed out loud. Three months! I can’t even go three days. However, the message sank in throughout the day and later that evening that friend and I met up, talked, I shook his hand and said: “Deal.”
"I created my Instagram page @soberdave and decided to share my journey, the highs, the lows, the complete truth. I was amazed at the support I was receiving."
I was very lucky in some ways that it was Dry January. I did lots of googling and found the Alcohol Change UK website which had lot of online resources. I created my Instagram page @soberdave and decided to share my journey, the highs, the lows, the complete truth. I was amazed at the support I was receiving. I could see immediate results. My marriage began improving overnight - the fact we were sleeping in the same bed was a start, rather than me falling asleep drunk on the sofa! My sleeping pattern was all over the place but at least there were no hangovers.
After a couple of weeks, I wanted to be honest with myself. What would happen after the three months were over? I knew I would be right back where I was before. That’s when I made the life-changing decision to stop drinking alcohol forever.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. Spring was difficult as we had a mini heatwave and it seemed like wherever I looked people were drinking. I had to dig deep and take each day as it came - some were easy, some were tough, but I just knew there was no turning back.
"Being sober has opened up a whole new world for me."
In a few days’ time I will be celebrating my first soberversary. I’ve lost 10kg, hosted two sober events, spoken on several panels about my sobriety and, most excitingly, I’m about to embark on a course to train as a recovery coach. My life has changed for the better in every way. I cannot wait for 2020 - my sober vision board is huge!
If you are considering doing Dry January, I would encourage you to visit the Alcohol Change UK website and check out all the resources they offer. Read all the tips and download the app. Follow as many sober people as you can on your desired social media platform and tell everyone you know that you are doing it - you never know, it may even encourage them to join you!
Dry January is a real opportunity to start to change your lifestyle, whether it’s being more mindful with your drinking habits or deciding to abstain completely. Being sober has opened up a whole new world for me. I feel very blessed, and very lucky. I cannot wait for 2022!